Yes, I know I’m late on this, and I know everyone is fed up with that Lebron James drama, but I just saw this video yesterday: it’s a last-minute attempt by the Minnesota Timberwolves to woo him.
No idea why he didn’t immediately sign there.
In related news, just like the Cavs owner, the Florida Panthers wrote a public message to their fans, who are now ensured that their team will never ever appear in the local media again. Here it is:
“You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE FLORIDA PANTHERS WILL WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
You can take it to the bank. *
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Sunrise, Florida, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by this Lebron guy has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels. Levels such as “very motivated”.
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….
Dale Tallon, Florida Panthers General Manager.
(* just don’t bet your house on it, though.)”
I never knew Dale had this kind of fire in him. Wow. I’m impressed.
Everyone knows that Montreal barely made the playoffs. But no one seems to realize how close the habs were from missing it. In the end, the difference between playoffs and holidays was one little goal, scored in january.
Just look at this:
Montreal and Florida have the exact same record. Same number of points, same number of wins.
So what was the tiebreak between those two teams? According to the nhl, here is how it works:
“At the conclusion of the regular season, the standing of the teams in each Conference shall be determined in accordance with the following priorities in the order listed:
- a) First place in each of the three Divisions seeded 1, 2 and 3.
- b) The higher number of points earned by the Club.
- c) The greater number of games won by the Club.
- d) The higher number of points earned in games against each other among two or more Clubs having equal standing under priorities (b) and (c).
- e) The greater positive differential between goals scored for and against by Clubs having equal standing under priority (d).”
So, the difference here was the games played between Montreal and Florida. Here is how it went between those two teams:
Oct 20. Montreal 3-1 Florida, in Montreal
Dec 29. Montreal 5-2 Florida, in Florida
Jan 4. Montreal 6-5 Florida (SO), in Montreal
Jan 29. Montreal 1-5 Florida, in Florida
Montreal earned 6 pts, Florida 3, so Montreal is in. But if Florida had managed to win the Jan 4 game in regulation, the two teams would have split the points. And we would have had to use the last tiebreak : the greater positive differential between goals scored for and against.
In this case, Florida would be in. They’re +3 and Montreal is +2 (and had Florida won that january game, the difference would have increased).
Of course, things would probably have gone a bit differently yesterday if Montreal had’nt already grabbed its playoffs spot, and yes, if Florida had won that game back in january, the two teams would not have ended with the same record, so that’s pretty much a moot point, but it just shows how close things really were.
UPDATE: I just quickly went through the last 20 seasons, and it never happened during that span that two teams ended up with the exact same record, but one made the playoffs and the other did not. (I’m not sure this sentence makes sense in English, but whatever). On some occasions, the 8th and 9th teams (or the 4th and 5th when the playoffs were determined into each division) had the same number of points, but never the exact same record. It’s completely meaningless, and I shouldn’t lose my time researching something like this, but I just found this situation funny (well, except for the Panthers fans of course…)
What? Just this lousy pic, after 3 days of inactivity? LAZY BASTARD!
Well, Kitty almost beat the habs. After a shitty first period, Montreal decided to play after all. They went on to score 4 unanswered goals in the second period. This was probably one of the best period they played this season. But then, another 18 lousy minutes, and it was 5-4 Montreal with less than 2 minutes to go. And you just knew Florida would tie the game. Which they did. The Panthers almost won it in OT, before Montreal won the shootout, thanks to Markov.
I would have been really pissed off if the habs had lost a point today. I’m not saying they deserve the 2 points they earned. I’m saying they should never have let the Panthers get back in the game in the third. I don’t want to be too harsh on them, because they were coming home after a road trip, which is never easy. They are also missing a lot of key guys (Koivu, Higgins, Price, and Tanguay notably). Moreover, we know the habs have played better against the best teams so far, and have often lost points against weak or average teams. Florida is indeed a good team this season, but not an elite one. So it was the perfect match piège. Considering this, it’s not a bad result. But still, they could really have done this without getting in all this trouble, if they had played 60 full minutes of hockey.
We’re right in the middle of one of my favourite times of the hockey season: the annual habs Florida road trip between Christmas and New Year’s eve. It’s obviously a special period of the year, one associated with family, celebrations, and of course lots and lots of great food. So those games are associated with this in my mind. And because of the holidays, this little road trip always looks meaningless to me. I couldn’t care less if the Canadiens lose both of their games in Miami and Tampa. Watching those games is a bit like watching pre-season hockey. And it’s also fun, because of the way those two arenas are invariably filled with thousands of habs fans living in Florida, or just spending their holidays there. It gives both of those games a funny atmosphere. Those two away games feel like home games because of the crowd, but it’s definitely not the bell center either. And it’s something cool, because it’s kind of how I feel too when I spend this time of year with my family, instead of being in Paris, where I usually work and live.
Anyway, back to some hockey talk. The habs played a nice little game yesterday, earning a 5-2 win in Miami. Of course, big props go to Max Lapierre, who got his first nhl hat trick. This is a good sign of how his has been improving for the last few weeks. #40 will probably never be a huge offensive threat, but he works hard. Just like Begin, who dropped the gloves yesterday, and Kostopoulos, one of the low profile hard-working type of players I love. Those three guys provide the habs with a lot of energy. They allow Carbo to use 4 lines, which he likes to do, and which was one of the reasons of last season’s good results.
Tonight, le Tricolore will face Tampa. The Lightning is having a nightmarish season, but they beat the habs in Montreal the last time they played each other. I hope the Canadiens keep their good streak alive. They’re playing good these days, and it would be pretty nice to see them continuing to do so until Saku returns. I also hope Tanguay can get back to his early season form soon.
Just beware of Thunderbug, the mean mascot of the Lightning!